L.A. Lakers at Houston Rockets
Time: Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 9:30 PM ET
Spread: HOU -13
Odds courtesy of Bovada
The L.A. Lakers lost badly Tuesday night at Dallas, giving up 123 points. The team is 2-3 and will face a tough test in the Houston Rockets and James Harden. Newly-acquired Dwight Howard looks to be back in Orlando-form, and while the Omer Asik “Twin Tower” experiment hasn’t ran flawlessly, the 4-1 Rockets feel they are contenders with the best in the league.
Contrary to that runs the defensive problems the team has encountered, on the perimeter in particular, as the Rockets gave up 51 points to the Clippers’ starting backcourt of Chris Paul and J.J. Redick, while allowing a Clipper- team record 78 points in the first half.
The Lakers are electing to start Chris Kaman in this contest, to match the size of Kevin McHale’s squad. Kaman has been used sparingly thus far, playing just 16.6 minutes per night, but he is producing. Kaman’s 9.0 points per game rank 6th among Lakers, while no one player is having any kind of standout season.
Even Pau Gasol has declined to a paltry 14.6 points per game, but his rebounding has improved after a career-low in the category last year, and he’s at 10.4 rebounds per this year. Jordan Farmar is still a reliable combo guard and this Lakers team could potentially hang on and put it together once it gets Kobe Bryant back aboard. Bryant is pushing hard for an early return, but has been cryptic about giving any kind of definitive return date.
The Lakers are going to need to delve into their deep rotation to match the energy brought by the Rockets. Houston averages 109.4 points per game and James Harden pushes the ball hard for 38.2 minutes per game.
Harden is averaging 25.2 points per game this season and he finished fifth in scoring last year. Jeremy Lin has looked very good offensively, but has shown his weaknesses covering the quicker point guards in the league. Opening night starter Patrick Beverley is back, but Lin retained his starting job in Beverley’s return. Houston will benefit from the defense of Beverley since the Rockets can already rely on Harden to make the majority of the plays.
Lakers Betting Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 THURS games; OVER 5-1 in last 6 Road games; 1-5 ATS in last 6 following SU loss of more than 10 points.
Houston Betting Trends: UNDER 5-1 in Rockets last 6 following ATS win; UNDER 10-2 in last 12 THURS games; OVER 5-1 in last 6 following SU win of more than 10 points.
Head-to-head: Lakers 0-4 ATS in last 4 in Houston; OVER 5-1 in last 6 meetings in Houston; OVER 9-2 in last 11 meetings.
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